Fort Smith Western Heritage Month – May 2017

May is “Fort Smith Western Heritage Month” in Fort Smith, and to RELIVE THE HERITAGE, RESTORE THE PRIDE, TTDIFS is proud to partner with the community to share all the “things to do” in the month of May! From exhibits at the Fort Smith Museum of History, events Judge Parker’s court house, ole west gun fights, to the world famous Old Fort Days Rodeo, May offers a unique and fun look into Fort Smith’s past. Check back to this page often as we continue to build this list. Have something you want us to promote? Email to [email protected]


Modern  Law Enforcement, Part 3: “Law Enforcement and Race Relations”May 1st, 6:30p – 8:00p DoubleTree by Hilton, 700 Rogers Ave.
Part Three of the United States Marshals Museum’s Spring Lecture Series, Modern Law Enforcement: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future, will feature a discussion with Chief of the Ferguson, MO Police Department Delrish Moss and Retired Deputy U.S. Marshal Richard Bowden on law enforcement and race relations. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at


Motorcycle Memories Exhibit Open May 2 – 6, Program May 5 – 6 at 1:00pm, Fort Smith Museum of History – On the museum’s second floor, featuring vintage motorcycles, photographs, artifacts and memorabilia, Motorcycle Memories 2017 is presented in Memory of Robert Winters (November 22, 1940-June 13, 2016). Winters was a Fort Smith native who gained national notoriety in the world of motorcycle racing in the 1960s. Robert provided many of the amazing photographs featured in the exhibition. The program is offered free with museum admission: $7 adults, $5 veterans and military, $2 children, under age 6 are free.


Motorcycle Show May 6, 8:00am – 11:00am, Fort Smith Museum of History – During the Steel Horse Motorcycle Rally, the Fort Smith Museum of History will host a motorcycle show on the street in front of the museum at 320 Rogers Avenue. A $15 donation is recommended for entry.* All proceeds benefit the Fort Smith Museum of History. Trophies and prizes will be awarded.  Click here to register or call the museum at 479-783-783-7841. Registration will also be accepted from 7:00 – 8:00 am on May 6. *(The Fort Smith Museum of History is a non-profit organization under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service).


Burgers and Beer May 6, 11:00am – 2:00pm, Fort Smith Museum of History Parking Lot – During the third annual Steel Horse Motorcycle Rally, join the Fort Smith Museum of History for Burgers and Beer! Thank you First National Bank for sponsoring the food. For only $5 enjoy two burgers, two beers or one of each! Must be 21 and over. (The Fort Smith Museum of History is a non-profit organization and a recipient of proceeds from the Steel Horse Motorcycle Rally.)


3rd Annual Choctaw Stick ball and Cultural Exhibition May 13, 10:00am, National Historic Site North Lawn – The Hardwood Tree Museum has partnered with members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to bring the Third Annual live demonstration of one of the oldest organized sports played in our country to Fort Smith: Traditional Stick ball. In addition, festivities of the day will include a Choctaw weapons display, demonstrations of traditional beading and basket weaving, the Choctaw Singers and Choctaw Dancers, and the Choctaw Princesses to name a few of the exciting events of the day. All of these events are free and open to the public.

Beer and Baggo May 13th, 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Garrison Commons Pocket Park – Admission is $20 per team and includes your entry into the competition. We will have a cash prize from a percentage of the proceeds raised up to $400 for first place, 2 Brew Passes to Bordertown Brew Fest Ales for Trails for 2nd place, and a Baggo set for third pace. Core beer will be available for purchase and Salvatore’s food truck will have food for purchase. If there is inclement weather this event will either be moved to an indoor venue or canceled. Click here for more details.

Bill Cooper’s Safe Kids! Fair May 19th, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Fort Smith Riverfront Pavilion –  Safe Kids! offers children and parents the opportunity to meet representatives from multiple agencies, learn ways to protect themselves, and talk about difficult topics – all in one location! Free Next Generation DNA LifePrint kits will be available, including fingerprints, palm prints, photographs and DNA swabbing to help in the event a child goes missing. Arvest Bank will provide free hot dogs and chips, and Coca Cola Bottling will provide free drinks, and all participating children receive a free tote bag!

Old Fort Days Barrel Futurity & Super DerbyMay 19-27, Kay Rogers Park  – The World’s Richest Barrel Futurity and Super Derby!




The Clayton House 40th Anniversary Celebration May 21st, 12:30pm, Clayton House – The Clayton House invites you to step back in time to the 1970s! The Fort Smith Heritage Foundation, operator of the historic house museum, is asking the community to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of this Victorian mansion’s service to the public. So put on your midi-skirts, polyester suits and platform shoes, and come on over! The Clayton House 40th Anniversary celebration will feature an indoor Mimosa Bruncheon from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. ($15 tickets) and a free festival afterwards for all that includes a reenactment of the saving of the Clayton House. Click here to buy tickets and find out more details!


Cowboy Poetry and the Music of Steeldust May 29th, 12:00 noon, Fort Smith Museum of History – Cowboy poetry evolved from stories told around the campfire as entertainment on long treks west.  Enjoy this western tradition featuring poets and the music of Steeldust.  A special treat-young cowboys and cowgirls will present a whip demonstration. The performance of cowboy poetry and music is offered free with Museum admission:  $7 adults, $2 children, under age six are free.


Old Fort Days Dandies Reunion June 3, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Fort Smith Museum of History – Join the Fort Smith Museum of History and meet the Old Fort Days Dandies! As ambassadors for the Old Fort Days Rodeo, the horsewomen are chosen for their riding skill, character and personality. Organized as a promotional group, the talented young ladies lead the Grand Entry, post the colors, perform the Quadrille, a square dance on horseback, and travel throughout the year to appear at rodeos nationwide. Offered free with museum admission: $7 adults; $5 veterans and military; $2 children; under age 6 are free.


Old Fort Days Rodeo – May 29-June 3 – Kay Rogers Park – Since 1933, Fort Smith has been home to one of Arkansas’ most exciting rodeos. Each year cowboys from all over the world compete for one of largest prize purses in Arkansas. This year marks the eighty second anniversary of the rodeo. You’ll see some the rankest bulls and broncs in America. Events include Saddle Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Bareback Riding, Calf Roping, Barrel Racing, Wild Horse Racing and Steer Wrestling. Bring the whole family and enjoy free entertainment on the Choctaw Casino stage and nightly performances by the Old Fort Days Dandies!

(Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade 5/29, 10am)


The Lawbreakers & Peacemakers have the following events going on in May:

May 6 Founders Day celebration Keota, OK  – shootouts, meet & greet, 9a.m.-1p.m.

May 7 – performances at Judgment, 300 Parker, Fort Smith (noon – 4:30 p.m.)

May 21 – performances at Judgment (noon – 4:30p.m.)

     May 26-29 Judgment – Civil War reenactors setting up camp on site.  Will be performing and hosting an 1863 vs. 1873

     shootout.  Camping, cooking, visiting, all old fashioned fun. Open to all!

     May 27 – Van Buren Parade

     May 29 – Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade (Downtown Fort Smith, 10am)